Botanical Concrete: Novel Composites for Urban Greening

in Research Culture in Architecture

Abstract

- The aim of Botanical Concrete, an interdisciplinary research project at the University of Kassel, is to develop a structurally viable cement-based material that will support the systematic, longterm, nondamaging cultivation of vascular and nonvascular plants. This combination of vegetation and innovative material seeks to find air-purifying, climate-optimized uses for vertical surfaces while also presenting new applications and design possibilities. The qualities required of a substrate for plant cultivation, such as optimal pH value, water retention, and a structured surface, are to be integratively combined with the material, structural, and aesthetic qualities of concrete to form the basis of this new material. Botanical Concrete is the first material to combine the characteristics of structural stability and durability with the positive qualities of a substrate for the establishment and sustainable cultivation of plant life.

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